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On March 21, 2022, the Director of the Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division notified the State’s Attorney co-ordinator for Maryland that the MSP lab would cease doing blood alcohol testing because the accrediting agency determined their testing procedure violated scientific requirements for blood alcohol testing.  Read the letter here.  MSAA BAC Letter_031522

On April 13, 2022, Clarke Ahlers and Serge Antonin released their podcast, the Black and White and thin Blue Lines, , with special guests Lenny and Michael Stamm where we discuss the MSP lab fiasco, and wonder why it took almost 6 months to tell anyone about it.

If you have a DUI charge and a blood alcohol test, call 301-345-0122 for a free consultation.

Every state prohibits drunk driving.  Every state also acknowledges that it is legal to drink alcohol and then drive if the alcohol consumed does not impair one’s abilities.

The amount of alcohol that a person can drink in an evening and be safely under the legal limit varies from person to person.  The main factors of weight, number of drinks, size of the drink, concentration (proof) of the alcohol, gender, and time of drinking all affect the outcome.  In the 1930’s a Swedish scientist named Erik Widmark came up with a formula to calculate blood alcohol concentration (BAC) based on these factors.  Using Widmark’s formula, it is possible to estimate BAC.   In these calculations, there is a rough equivalence between a 12 oz. beer, and 6 oz. glass of wine, and a mixed drink containing 1.5 oz. of alcohol.

A woman will have a higher BAC than a man of the same weight because alcohol is more concentrated in the cells of a female.   Since many women weigh less than many men, this difference is exaggerated with most people.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled that the injunctions against enforcement of Trump’s travel ban, that had been upheld by the Fourth and Ninth Circuits would be upheld in part and reversed in part.  Trump claimed this was a victory, but a careful reading of the majority opinion reveals otherwise.  The plaintiffs in the cases argued for a stay because the travel ban would cause irreparable injury to them and by implication, persons who were similarly situated.  The parties who claimed irreparable injury were parties who had family members, friends, and students coming to the US.  Foreign nationals who had no connection with anyone in this country did not bring the lawsuit, and have no constitutional right to come to this country.  In a sense the Supreme Court basically said that anyone that claimed irreparable injury and those similarly situated (“who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States”) could not be barred from entering the country.  To the extent that the lower court’s injunctions covered parties not involved in the lawsuit, in essence, they were overbroad.  Essentially all of the plaintiffs prevailed in the Supreme Court as to their interests.  Trump prevailed against foreign nationals who were not active in the litigation.  In other words, Trump lost to no one initially, and then prevailed over them.  Everyone who sued Trump won at the injunction stage.

Last week, on March 22 and 23, 2017, the National College for DUI Defense and Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association successfully concluded their jointly sponsored annual Mastering Scientific Evidence seminar in New Orleans.

Speakers included Robert Hirschhorn on Winning Voir Dire in Breath, Blood & Accident CasesAmber Spurlock on Mining for Gold in Blood Discovery: Obtaining What You Need & Using It To WinDonald Bartell on Successfully Defeating Hospital Blood Test Cases, Dean Jim Nesci on The Cure for Bad Breath 3.0Alan Wayne Jones, BSc, PhD, DSc on Over 40 years and 400 Published Articles in Alcohol Research: Pushing Science to the LimitsRobert J. Belloto Jr., R.Ph., M.S.2, Ph.D. on Prescription Medication & Alcohol: Interaction and Metabolism – Determining Therapeutic v. Non-therapeutic Levels, Alfred E. Staubus, Pharm.D., Ph.D. on Breath Testing: Reported Measurement of Uncertainty for Various Evidential Breath Testing Machines and Aspects of the Biological Variability, Donald J. Ramsell on Method Validation And Admissibility Of Forensic Alcohol And Drug TestsAndrew Mishlove on Blood Testing for Drugs: Methodology of How It’s Done & Success Challenges, Dr. Jimmie L. Valentine on Exposing False Positives in Drug Testing, Terry A. Wapner on Affecting the Breath Test Results – LPR vs. GERD, and Steven W. Rickard on Winning with Speed, Distance & Time.

StammJones-2-225x300Among the speakers listed above was A.W. Jones, the leading expert in the world on blood and breath testing with over 400 published articles, who answered questions from Leonard R. Stamm regarding calibration of breath test equipment and calculating uncertainty.  With respect to calibration, Dr. Jones opined that where a state has different levels of culpability carrying different punishments, such as Maryland, where the Motor Vehicle Administration suspends driver licenses for test result of 0.08 or above but less than 0.15 and for a test result of 0.15 and above, that the state should calibrate its breath testing equipment at both levels.  This is important because Maryland only calibrates its breath test equipment at 0.08.  Dr. Jones also stated that there is currently no accepted protocol for determining uncertainty.  Dr. Jones preferred method for eliminating uncertainty is to take the mean of two measurements and deduct 15% of the mean to attain a certainty of 99.9%.

The National College for DUI Defense (NCDD) and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) just wrapped up their annual Las Vegas seminar.  As usual, it was well attended and the presentations were very informative.

The conference featured presentations on Thursday, September 22, on cross-examination by Jim Nesci; accident reconstruction by Steven M. Schoor; succeeding without an expert by Tommy Kirk; and, the psychology of winning by Allen Fox, Ph.D.  The conference continued on Friday, September 23 with presentations on case law update by Don Ramsell; NHTSA’s ARIDE program (Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement) by Tony Palacios; preparing for direct and cross of experts by Virginia Landry; ethics by Jim Nesci and nine other regents; gas chromatography for jurors by Suzanne Perry, M.Sc.; closing arguments by Joe St. Louis and Tommy Kirk; field sobriety test facts and fallacies by Tony Palacios; and, prescription medication issues by Fran Gengo, Pharm. D., Ph. D.  The conference concluded today with presentations on closing argument by Tommy Kirk; cross of the standardized field sobriety tests by John Hunsucker (for attorneys with 1-5 years experience) and by Don Ramsell (for attorneys with over 5 years experience); analyzing a DRE facesheet and narrative report by Steven Oberman and Tony Palacios; breath testing by Jim Nesci; defending the impaired marijuana case by George Bianchi; and, how to try your first DUI case by John Hunsucker.

The National College for DUI Defense ( just completed its annual summer session held in Cambridge Massachusetts.  The session featured large lectures, small lectures, breakouts, and small elective seminars.

Topics covered included Cross-Examination of the Arresting Officer by Marj Russell of the Gerry Spence Trial Lawyer’s College; Cross-Examination break out; Handling the High Profile case by Tony Coleman; immigration law by Brad Williams; postconviction, writs of error coram nobis by Professor Byron Warnken of the University of Baltimore Law School; plea negotiations and ethics by Assistant Professor Rishi Batra from the Texas Tech. School of Law.

We had small elective seminars (discussion groups) that were a new feature of the summer session and were very well received with the following topics: Win at the Initial Appearance, taught by Andrew Mishlove and Pat Maher; Suppression Motions: Winning it All Before Trial, taught by Jim Nesci and Steve Oberman, Leonard Stamm and Andy Alpert, Andrew Mishlove and Pat Maher, Don Ramsell and Michelle Behan, and, Mike Hawkins and George Flowers;  Getting What You Want-Creative Approaches to Obtaining Discovery, taught by Bell Island and Lauren Stuckert; How to Use Social Media Effectively and Ethically, taught by Bill Kirk and Brad Williams; Federal DUIs: Reinventing the Wheel? by Leonard Stamm and Andy Alpert; Don’t Let Your Military Client Go Down with the Ship by John Hunsucker and John Webb; Picking the Winning Jury by John Hunsucker and John Webb, Mimi Coffey and Ryan Russman, and Paul Burglin and Lynn Gorelick; Preparing for Plan B, Sentencing in Serious Cases, taught by Mike Hawkins and George Flowers; Follicles, IIDs, ETG and SCRAM: The Hairs, Airs and Other Snares of DUI, taught by Doug Murphy and Richard Middlebrook; Just Say NO to Losing Your Client’s Commercial or Professional License, taught by Virginia Landry and Steven Epstein; Turning the Tide with Treatment, taught by Paul Burglin and Lynn Gorelick; Using Technology to Win Your Case, taught by Joe St. Louis and Lawrence Koplow; Managing a Practice from the Stone Age to the Digital Age in 10 Easy Steps, taught by Bruce Edge and Matt Dodd; Writing Winning Appeals, taught by Don Ramsell and Michelle Behan.

On Saturday, July 25, 2015, Leonard R. Stamm became the Dean of the National College for DUI Defense. At the annual summer session, held at Austin Hall at Harvard Law School (the College is not affiliated with Harvard Law School, it just rents space), before lunch, Stamm gave the Dean’s Address.  Also in attendance was Professor Alan Dershowitz, who answered questions about the future of the criminal justice system.

The three day summer session featured lectures by Larry Taylor, James Farragher Campbell, Tommy Kirk, Jim Nesci, Joe St. Louis, Mimi CoffeyPaul Homoly, Howard Nations, John Henry Hingson, Scott Joye, Bell Island and Jessica Phipps.   Breakout sessions were also held where students were able to refine their skills on opening statements and cross-examination of police officers.

If you are facing criminal or traffic charges in Maryland state or federal court, call Leonard R. Stamm of Goldstein & Stamm, P.A. at 301-345-0122 for a free consultation.

The National College for DUI Defense is holding its summer session at the Charles Hotel in Cambridge, Massachusetts with seminars and breakouts at the Harvard Law School. The session features lectures on: Crafting Your Opening Statement by Denis M. DeVlaming; Handling Injury & Death Cases: Things You Need to Do by Edward L. Fiandach; Out-of-State Licenses: Avoiding Disaster by Jennifer G. Ammons; Impeaching the Breath Test: A Low Budget Approach by Michael M. Hawkins assisted by Anthony D. Palacios; Jury Psychology: Finding Their “Not Guilty” Button by Patrick T. Barone; SFSTs: New Manual-New Opportunities by James Nesci; New Manual-Cross-Examination Demo by Joseph P. St. Louis assisted by Anthony D. Palacios; Cross of Their Extrapolation Expert by Ronald L. Moore; The “Just Say No Case”: Refusals at Every Stage of The Arrest by Donald J. Ramsell; Cross of the Blood Test Technician: A Low Budget Approach by Andrew Mishlove; DUI Defense: Ethics & Excellence by C. Andrew Carroll DUI Complications: Getting Into Canada by Marisa Feil, a Keynote Address Roger J. Dodd, and Dean’s Address by Stephen Jones.
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This past Thursday and Friday the National College for DUI Defense held its annual winter session in Scottsdale, Arizona. On Thursday, the seminar featured presentations by Robert Hirshhorn on Voir Dire Gems in DWI Cases, Leonard R. Stamm on The Top 20 Guidelines for Bench Trials, Mimi Coffey on Cross Examination (SFSTs) of the Arresting Officer, Virginia Landry on Cross Examination of the Arresting Officer (nonSFSTs), Josh Lee on Blood Testing – G.C. Theory and Issue Spotting, Phil Price on Breath Testing the Twelve Step Approach, Jess Paul on Retrograde Extrapolation, and Ron Moore on Drug Toxicology Strategies & Issues. On Friday, attendees heard from Doug Murphy with a voir dire demonstration, Ava George Stewart with a demonstration of Cross-Examination of the Arresting Officer (SFSTs), Bruce Edge with a demonstration of Cross-Examination of the Arresting Officer (nonSFSTs), Tim Huey with a demonstration of Cross-Examination of the Toxicologist on Retrograde Extrapolation, Michael Hawkins with a demonstration of Cross-Examination of the Breath Test Technician, and Jim Nesci and Joe St. Louis with a demonstration of Cross-Examination of the Blood Test Technician.
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The National College for DUI Defense (NCDD) just completed its 3 day summer session, held in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the facilities of Harvard Law School. The College’s mission is to educate lawyers to become more proficient in defense of persons accused of drunk driving. The College’s motto is “Justice Through Knowledge.” The session was attended by some of the most skilled lawyers in the country, and featured presentations and workshops of the highest quality. The session exemplified what is best about the legal profession.

The session featured presentations by Robert Hirschhorn on jury selection, Leonard Stamm and Peter Gerstenzang on the Top 20 Guidelines for Bench Trials, Mimi Coffey on trial strategy and breath testing, Gary Trichter on the Bill of Rights, Erin Gerstenzang on Ethics, Tyrone Moncrief on the Art of Persuasion and Closing Argument, John Webb and Felipe Plascencia on closing argument, Dr. Sunwolf on Innovations in Jury Selection: Harvesting Skewed Venires; Juiced Jurors; Mental Blind Spots and Perfecting a Challenge for Cause, Michael Hawkins on Cross-Examination – A Performance, Justin McShane on Basic Gas Chromatography for Blood Alcohol Content, and Stephen Jones on The Real Field Sobriety Tests. Workshops were conducted on jury selection and closing arguments. The keynote address was delivered by the Honorable Joseph Johnson.

The session was conducted under the auspices of Dean George Stein who turned the reins over to Troy McKinney, the incoming dean, at the culmination of the session. The current slate of officers includes Peter Gerstenzang, Assistant Dean, Stephen Jones, Secretary, and Leonard R. Stamm, Treasurer.

Over 160 lawyers were in attendance including Regents not mentioned above James Nesci, Bill Kirk, Don Ramsell, Virginia Landry, Andrew Mishlove, Paul Burglin and Doug Murphy and Fellows James Campbell, F.K. Whited, Les Hulnick, Tommy Kirk, Phil Price, George Bianchi, Doug Cowan and Steven Oberman.

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